Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:41 pm
Catherine Russell is a lady born to music. Her father, Luis Russell (1902-63), was Louis Armstrong's orchestra leader beginning in the mid-1930s. Her mother, Carline Ray, is a bassist, singer, great all-around musician and a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the 1940s all-woman band that swung as hard as the men. "This Daughter of Jazz Is One Cool Cat," reads the headline of Nat Hentoff's profile for The Wall Street Journal.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:07 pm
In terms of international prestige, it's hard to think of bigger prizes in the classical community than those given annually by the British classical music magazine Gramophone (where I served as the North America editor for several years).Sure, the Grammys have more general name recognition, but these Eurocentric awards, completely dedicated to classical music, offer far more depth and breadth than their nearest American counterparts, both in terms of artists and repertoire.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:17 am
For conservatory-trained jazz musicians, it's a scary job market out there. Saxophonist Dave Liebman, an NEA Jazz Master and veteran statesman, paints a bleak picture:
In the current world of jazz education, the situation vis a vis graduating more and more of the most equipped musicians in history (every year more so) in stark contrast to the scarcity of paid performance and recording opportunities has assumed epic disproportion. To deny this would be like ignoring global warming. Serious educators are and should be concerned.
Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 7:46 am
The New Rope String Band makes its second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Based in the U.K., New Rope first came to the attention of Mountain Stage host Larry Groce by recommendation of Tim O'Brien, when the show traveled to Scotland as part of the 2011 Celtic Connections festival.
Jazz multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers, who died at 88 in December 2011, recorded with many trios in the 1970s. But his most celebrated trio was barely recorded at all. In 2007, it played a reunion concert — its first in 26 years.
The Australian folk-rock band Husky takes its name from frontman and chief songwriter Husky Gawenda, whose croon soars over the group's artfully crafted instrumentals. Husky is the first Aussie band signed to Sub Pop Records — and, with its lush harmonies and thoughtfully crafted lyrics, it fits right in with its labelmates and indie-folk contemporaries in Fleet Foxes.
Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:42 pm
If you've been watching the HBO series Treme with us, welcome back.
If you're new here, welcome in the first place. WBGO's Josh Jackson, a New Orleans native, and I have been watching the music-saturated program set in post-Katrina New Orleans for two years now. After every episode, we try to establish some context for the many musical references and live performances the show features.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:25 pm
Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard makes his 11th appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Hubbard first found success after writing "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers," which became a beer-joint jukebox anthem some 40 years before anyone thought about singing the praises of a Solo cup. A high-school classmate of Mountain Stage host Larry Groce, Hubbard even played with him in a band for a while.